I generally react badly to those heartwarming viral videos about kids with intellectual and developmental disabilities or related challenges. So many of these videos are really designed to elicit pity by reminding us of what a child can’t do rather than showing a genuine, realistic achievement. I’ve seen maybe fifty variants of the high school student with Down syndrome, manager of the basketball team, who is allowed to take a freebie shot that falls through the bucket. It’s great to give a kid that experience…but yeah. So many inspiring videos are implicitly about the inspiring caregiver, or about the random non-disabled person who does something basically kind, such as the football star who joined a boy who lives with autism [typo fixed] for lunch.
Kaylee Rodgers attends the Killard House School in Donaghadee, Northern Ireland. She lives with autism. And as you can hear: Wow, she can really sing. It doesn’t hurt that she’s singing Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah.(h/t New York Post.)
And yeah, for many of us this song will always be bittersweet….